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In the carriage carrying the two princesses, Rosalina wore a stern expression as she looked at her sister. They were nearly at the gates of Yggdrasil where, from what they knew, there was a party that many of the nobles in the area were attending. Rosalina knew what kind of man Chris was, most likely he already knew they were coming and had prepared for them.

“Sister my best advice is three things. One: Do not underestimate him. His ability to turn around any situation to not only avoid danger but to gain something is terrifying. Two: Expect that he already has a good idea of what you’re planning. His skills at gathering information are something no one can compare to. The last and most important one is: Do not anger him. The emperor is someone that does not care about status or consequences and violence isn’t something he shies away from.“

Marigold nodded but didn’t take it to heart. To her Chris was just some upstart warlord that had a bit of power. She knew that her elder brother Qin was good at dealing with people with words but boorish men weren't his forte. Just like him, Rosalina didn’t have much experience with power-driven individuals like Chris. Marigold, on the other hand, has territory in unruly areas where groups like bandits and warlords appear several times a year.

Not to mention she had heard that he wasn’t even in his mid-twenties so she didn’t think it would be too difficult to deal with.

As they say fight fire with fire, so match a snake with a snake. She thought with a condescending smile.

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*

In a large ballroom in the center of the Great Tree Palace several dozen people were mingling. These people were the nobles that Chris had invited to win over. Within the crowd waiters walked carrying drinks and finger food while gentle music played and people danced.

Chris himself was currently talking to a short fat man that instead of having a head of hair had a mustache and beard that made up for the amount of hair missing from his head.

“I must say, this party is grand. I didn’t expect the city to get back on its feet so quickly. I mean, while passing through the main district I almost couldn’t tell that a destructive battle had just been fought there only a month ago.” the fat noble’s belly shook as he laughed before taking a sip of wine.

Chris eyed the noble without revealing his feelings of annoyance. With him being a master of manipulation Chris had long since learned how to hide his emotions.

Chris smiled faintly and nodded while gesturing out the towering set of windows that allowed one to look down on the city.

“See, the people are hard at work as well as the many creatures I have summoned to speed up the process.”

“Creatures? Oh, you mean those green giants, you created those, your majesty! They were quite impressive! Why if I had a few dozens of those it would cut down my labor costs several times!” The fat noble exclaimed making his fat face giggle. Chris inwardly laughed, this man had a business in construction so of course he would be interested in the workers Chris had created.

“Well, I could loan you a few. Why don’t we discuss the finer details later?”

Chris’ words were like a snake of temptation that slithered into the noble’s mind. Without hesitation, he agreed and said his farewells, apparently to plan for the negotiation.

That made eight including the man Chris had just persuaded. Things were going smoothly, even with the Magical Alliance attending the party it didn’t cause noticeable trouble since Chris had select nobles that were not only willing to support him with a little push, but also more tolerant magical races.

Moving onto his next target, he spotted Burdock talking to a married couple with Clows at his side. Chris had decided to split into teams to quickly capture as many targets as possible before the main event. As he had thought having Burdock at the party added additional pressure to the nobles to ally themselves with Chris. Not only was it obvious that Chris would rise in power quickly, but a bonus of gaining favor with the King of Merchants wasn’t bad at all.

It was now time to start the fire.

At that moment, the doors to the ballroom opened. In the doorway on the left was Claira in a light blue gown that had a snowflake pattern on it making it look like she was wrapping in a gentle snowfall. On the right was Sara in a dark blue ball dress that had icicle-like markings as if a dangerous blizzard was surrounding her. In the center was Helina in an orange and red fluttery dress that resembled fire. Oddly enough the gentle Claira, passionate Helina, and cold Sara all complemented each other quite well, instantly stealing the attention of everyone in the room.

Among the dazed masses was one that was sweating profusely. Gill as an elf knew just from a glance what clan Claira and Sara belonged to. Though he didn’t know what kind of status they had in Silva Imperium, at the very least, it wasn’t low since they walked in side by side with the Empress herself!

Sara spotted Gill and their eyes met for only a brief moment. In the quick exchange, Gill understood that she had recognized who he was and that her hatred ran deep. It was then that he felt stares and an oppressive sense of danger directed at him from all sides. However, those hostile glares didn’t make any moves so he felt that at least they wouldn’t kill him now, which made him feel a tiny bit relieved.

If Gill had time he felt that he could find a way to at least survive this encounter.

While Gill tried to calm himself by thinking of a plan he didn’t notice that Claira and Sara had walked up to him.

“Why, Gill! How long has it been, I haven’t seen you since your clan attacked ours!” Claira spoke in a raised voice. Her eyes filled with malicious intent. Maybe it was because of Chris’ influence or that one of the people responsible for the slaughter of her family was before her. Claira’s kind and warm nature flew out the window.

Gill’s heart sunk and the amount of sweat he was producing quadrupled. He swept his gaze around the room, most of them were of surprise, except Princess Ren’s and Prince Brom’s which showed they already knew, but still held hostility.

Swallowing a mouthful of saliva, Gill was aware that using kind words or lies would only make things worse. However, he, in the end, was an ambassador of his father’s faction as well as the son of the elf’s representative, so he had his pride and was full of arrogance. He refused to be pushed into a corner by some lucky survivors!

Gill let out a snort before showing an attitude of confidences, “Hmm, has it really been that long? Well, it’s good to see you. How have you been after we wiped out your family along with your stubborn father?”

Though on the outside, Gill didn’t seem to be worried about anything on the inside he was already crying. Still there was no point in trying to deny what Claira said since it was already known what had happened even though no one says anything about it.

Gill thought he was protected by the fact that he was an ambassador of the Magical Alliance and no matter what kind of status these girls had they wouldn’t harm him.

Sadly, he couldn’t be more wrong because he didn’t know one thing. Chris had never cared about such things.

As Gill continued to show a condescending smile, Claira and Sara as well as many around had faces covered in shock and horror. From the depths of the crowd, a blood lust appeared like a tsunami that engulfed the room causing everyone to freeze.

“You sure have some guts saying that to my wives!” A savage growl pierced the silence. Like the sea parting, the crowd split to make way for the owner of the wrathful words. Gill turned and shuddered when he saw Chris, the Emperor himself walking over unhurried with a face twisted with rage.

Gill finally understood why Claira had been so confident in confronting him. She along with her sister was married to the Emperor! They had intentionally provoked him to cause the current situation! Now the emperor was searching for blood. This had all been a setup!

Gill finally began to tremble as he met Chris’ eyes only to see the intent to murder. He along with everyone else who only knew of him through rumors thought he was a kind ruler. Only now did they realize that they were wrong!

He tried to back away, but before even taking two steps vines had wrapped around his legs immobilizing him.

“Do you think just because you’re an ambassador of some alliance you can say what you want, HUH? Well, it seems your head has gotten a little big, it must be heavy! How about I lighten your load and remove it? Obviously you think with your lower half anyway so it’s no loss to you right?”

Gill’s heart was about to leap out of his chest, not just because of Chris’ bloodlust, but the fact that his words were cold and calm. He wasn’t blinded by rage, it was apparent that Chris was completely level-headed!

From the floor, three roots grew and spiraled together. Chris clutched the roots and pulled, they snapped effortlessly and formed a sinister spear tip with serrated edges that were meant to cause pain. As Chris approached, the once arrogant prince started to cry.

“Please, ya majesty *hic* I dod knew *hic* I abolagize for ma roodness!”

Snot and tears traveled down his face as he begged Chris to have mercy. His voice was choked making him spout something that couldn’t be completely understood. Chris, however, didn’t care. In fact, he laughed coldly with a twisted grin.

Though the plan was a little different since he had expected Gill to try and lie instead of being arrogant, Chris had simply ad-libbed. Chris was actually happier this way since he could go directly into violence instead of playing a round robin game to show evidence before taking action.

Chris raised his spear thrusting forward to remove the scum’s heart from his body. There was a scream of pain and the clang of metal. Everyone in the room gasped as the Tiger Princess Ren had forced Chris’ spearhead up with a dagger. The scream had come from Gill as even though he avoid a fatal blow the spear tip had created a large gash in his shoulder.

Princess Ren eyes bore holes into Chris. Sadly it was clear that she was using all her strength to keep Chris’ spear from coming down and cutting the elf prince in two, which made her lose all her intimidating presence.

Chris’ icy eyes shifted to Princess Ren with a frown.

“Do you want to die with him? Do not think just because we have exchanged words that I will tolerate such disrespect, Pr-in-cess!” Chris growled increasing the strength in his arm causing the spear tip to once again touch Gill’s shoulder.

Princess Ren, who had been using everything she had to resist, was shocked, Chris, a caster class, was only using one hand on his spear yet she who was a melee class had to use everything she had to stop him. It should be Impossible even with an entire rank difference for her to be overpowered with such ease.

Sadly, Chris though a caster type had many things strengthening his body allowing him to display such strength!

The princess couldn’t say anything or she would risk her hands slipping and could only stare at the emperor pledging with her eyes. Chris eyed her for a moment longer, then glanced at the two beautiful elves that were watching with amusement. Understanding his look, they both gave a nod signaling the end of the performance.

Chris withdrew his spear but his hostility didn’t lessen in the slightest.

“Today I will let you off. However, you now owe me a debt for my kindness, do you understand you fifth!?” Chris spat with dying rage.

Gill, not missing his chance, dropped on one knee “Thank you, your majesty, for your benevolence!”

Ignoring the pathetic display of tears and snot Chris glared at Princess Ren and Prince Brom “You two also best remember. If I hadn’t stayed my hand neither of you would have it easy explaining what happened.”

Both ambassadors’ eyes opened wide. Could it be that Chris had only done this to have them in his debt?

It was true though the plan didn’t originate from him. It started when Claira and Sara had asked if he could do something horrible to Gill or simply kill him. Chris also had never thought of letting Gill walk away without a small amount of unforgettable agonizing pain. It was then that Chris found out about the three ambassadors all coming to monitor each other.

In a sense, they were responsible for each other actions, especially when it could hurt their own chances at a negotiation, like for instance lying to Claira and Sara about slaughtering their clan in front of the emperor. If something like that happened, then the other two parties would be put in an awkward position and would be forced to offer compensation in order to try and salvage the negotiations.

Though they couldn’t say for sure, Princess Ren and Prince Brow had a feeling that Chris had just played them to better his position as well as drop theirs. Cunning and shameless was the only way they could describe his actions.

Chris then turned his attention out the window and smirked, now it’s time to deal with the other side dish before the main course arrives!
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EsperReal

  • Overlord of the Forest

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